By now, the Corona virus (or COVID-19) is one of the foremost topics on everyone’s mind. Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we’ve heard lots of questions about the virus, so we are here to help answer them!
Can my pet get the coronavirus? As of right now, the World Health Organization states that there are no reported cases of dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, or any other pet animal having the corona virus. Idexx, the reference laboratory Kingsbrook primarily uses, has created a test for the coronavirus to be used for animals, but the lab has yet to see a positive result. There has been a confirmed case of a tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for COVID-19
The important thing to note is that pets can spread the virus, though—if a sick person coughs on a dog, and a healthy person touches the dog, the healthy person has been exposed even if they do not come within 6 feet of the sick person. The virus can survive for around 10 days on surfaces, including pet hair!
My pet has symptoms that look like corona virus. What should I do? Pets can get viruses that cause respiratory symptoms, like Bordetella (kennel cough) or canine influenza. Cats can also get respiratory “colds,” which may have a viral or bacterial cause. If your pet is sick, please call Kingsbrook Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment.
Is Kingsbrook Animal Hospital still open? Yes! The Maryland State Government has determined that veterinary offices provide a vital service to the community, and thus we are considered an essential business. We are seeing patients, refilling prescriptions, and answering the phones.
What is KAH doing to fight the spread of corona virus? We are currently operating on a curbside/drop-off basis only. We are staffed during our normal business hours, but the front doors are locked and we are not permitting any clients to enter the building. This is to help ensure our staff remains healthy and is able to remain at work—that way, we can continue to help sick or injured pets and their people!
Inside the building, we are following additional, extra-stringent cleaning protocols. All staff members are observing appropriate social
distancing while wearing masks full-time, and we are providing assistance for any staffers who elect to self-quarantine during this time. Our surgical gowns are designed to be reusable and are sterilized between patients, and where appropriate we are reusing gloves and masks to help fight the shortage of these products. We are limiting the cases that we see in our hospital to “essential” things only. What this means is that if your pet is not in pain, in danger, or suffering from a chronic illness that requires frequent monitoring (such as bloodwork, blood pressure, etc.), we ask that you call to discuss any desired appointments with our staff before scheduling. For more information about this, please call or email our office.
My pet does much better when I’m there for the exam/procedure. Can’t you make an exception? We realize that many pets are more comfortable with their owners; this is actually a cornerstone of the Fear Free movement, which we work continually to practice here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. Unfortunately, during this time we are
not making exceptions for any clients—this would expose our staff members to an unnecessary level of risk, and while your pet is important to us, we want to be able to help all of our clients during this time. We cannot do that if our staff is sick and unable to work.
You have the choice to either proceed with the curbside/drop-off appointment, or to reschedule for another time if the appointment or procedure is not an emergency (for example, a recheck visit, an oral cleaning, an annual Well Pet exam). If this is an emergency—your pet is sick or in pain—please call us so that we may work with you to determine a case-specific plan to help your fur baby. We also have the option of providing your pet with some pre-visit pharmaceuticals to make the experience less stressful; these are given at home, by you, before the visit to keep your pet calm. Our doctors and staff are happy to discuss this with you in further detail.